Free agency, contracts, Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, updates, explained, reports
The Golden State Warriors may be defending NBA champions, but the reality of trying to keep a title-winning team together is already starting to set in.
A report of Athleticism Anthony Slater and Marcus Thompson II Thursday outlined the delicate balancing act facing Golden State as it seeks to make key contract calls to four key players.
Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are all set to extend their contracts. No rules in the collective agreement prevent the Warriors from giving each of them a big salary.
Sources said Athleticism although that “simply isn’t viable” for the Warriors, as extending the four would leave Golden State with “astronomical luxury tax penalties well in excess of the record $362 million (A$518 million) qu ‘they paid last season’.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob said Athleticism in July, having a payroll in excess of $400m (A$572m) per season just wasn’t realistic.
“These numbers aren’t even remotely possible,” Lacob said.
“They just aren’t. I already have problems with the rest of the league. We have problems because we are where we are. Actually, Vegas, I’ll be at the NBA Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, let me tell you. They are not happy.
“It’s not just us. Other teams are also getting into the luxury tax. We’ve kind of blown a hole in the system and it’s not pretty from a league perspective. They don’t want that to happen.
But taking out the smallest hypothetical contract extension, in this case Poole’s, would put the Warriors at a much more comfortable $338 million ($A484 million) according to Slater and Thompson II.
“So a storm is brewing,” the couple wrote in the report.
Now Golden State finds itself with a delicate decision on who to immediately lock up with new extensions and who to leave in a waiting game.
“Coming next offseason, one or two members of the beloved Championship core could disappear,” the report added.
“Even before the potential departures, reactions to how the Warriors front office navigates this situation could carry over into this season, potentially affecting their chances of defending the crown. “The ramifications seem almost inevitable…the drama could start as early as next week.
“Next week begins what could be a tumultuous next 12 months as both timelines head towards a financial collision.”
The report then broke down the contract situations for the four players, starting with Green. Sources said Athleticism Green “wants and believes he deserves” a maximum contract extension.
The 32-year-old is eligible to sign a four-year deal with the Warriors from August 3, hence why Slater and Thompson II have warned the drama could start ‘next week’.
Green is set to earn $25.8m (A$36.9m) next season and $27.5m (A$39.4m) for 2023-24, although the latter is an option from player, meaning he can turn it down and become a free agent instead.
If Green opts out of the final year of his current contract, he can sign a four-year extension worth $138.4 million (A$198 million).
All indications according to Athleticism however, the Warriors have “no intention” of offering Green a maximum extension and would prefer to begin talks next summer when he has one year left.
How would Warriors stalwart Green react to this? Good, Athleticism claims he is “willing to explore outside options” to secure the contract he seeks.
It’s a risk Golden State is willing to take, although the report also adds that the “biggest concern” may be how teammate Steph Curry is taking the news.
“Multiple sources said Curry would be unhappy if the Warriors lost Green because the team didn’t want to pay him,” Slater and Thompson II wrote.
Again, it’s a careful balancing act for the Warriors, who would reward Green with a big contract in an ideal world but don’t want to sacrifice younger plays in the process.
Then there is Wigginswho has reportedly already had “some preliminary discussions” with the Warriors about an extension after his playoff campaign.
Golden State is expected to prioritize extending Wiggins, who will earn $33.6 million (A$48 million) in the final season of his contract before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
At 28, Wiggins is about to enter his prime and would generate a lot of interest if he hit the open market.
As for Swimming poolOct. 18 is the rookie extension deadline, though there ‘doesn’t seem to be a level of urgency’ on Golden State’s side to open talks according to Athleticism.
The report points out that it is not difficult to predict Poole’s likely worth given that Afernee Simons has just been awarded a four-year, $100 million (A$143 million) contract at Portland while the Knicks have offered Jalen Brunson $104m (A$148m) over four years.
Poole is said to be considered in this area and perhaps with an even higher advantage than Simons and Brunson if his late season form is anything to go by.
Poole’s price jumped immediately after averaging 24.7 points on 47.3 percent overall and 41.9 percent from 3-point range while replacing an injured Curry in the final 21 games of the regular season.
Thompson is the least likely to get an extension this offseason given that he still has two years, $83.8m (A$120m) guaranteed on his contract.
That shouldn’t be a problem for the sniper either, with Thompson tipped to focus on keeping his body functioning well over the summer instead.
“The Warriors desperately need someone to get a cut, and Thompson makes the most sense,” Slater and Thompson wrote.
Either way, it will be interesting to watch how the Warriors handle the situation so as not to jeopardize their chances of securing back-to-back titles.